You will scarce believe that I did this in mere oblivion; but I did; and all that I can say is that I will do so no more, and ask you to forgive me. Please write to me soon as to this.

Will you oblige me by paying in for three articles, as already sent, to my account with John Paton & Co., 52 William Street? This will be most convenient for us.

The fourth article is nearly done; and I am the more deceived, or it is A BUSTER.

Now as to the first thing in this letter, I do wish to hear from you soon; and I am prepared to hear any reproach, or (what is harder to hear) any forgiveness; for I have deserved the worst. - Yours sincerely,

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

Letter: TO E. L. BURLINGAME

SARANAC, NOVEMBER 1887.

DEAR MR. BURLINGAME, - I enclose corrected proof of BEGGARS, which seems good. I mean to make a second sermon, which, if it is about the same length as PULVIS ET UMBRA, might go in along with it as two sermons, in which case I should call the first 'The Whole Creation,' and the second 'Any Good.' We shall see; but you might say how you like the notion.

One word: if you have heard from Mr. Scribner of my unhappy oversight in the matter of a story, you will make me ashamed to write to you, and yet I wish to beg you to help me into quieter waters. The oversight committed - and I do think it was not so bad as Mr. Scribner seems to think it-and discovered, I was in a miserable position. I need not tell you that my first impulse was to offer to share or to surrender the price agreed upon when it should fall due; and it is almost to my credit that I arranged to refrain. It is one of these positions from which there is no escape; I cannot undo what I have done. And I wish to beg you - should Mr. Scribner speak to you in the matter - to try to get him to see this neglect of mine for no worse than it is: unpardonable enough, because a breach of an agreement; but still pardonable, because a piece of sheer carelessness and want of memory, done, God knows, without design and since most sincerely regretted. I have no memory. You have seen how I omitted to reserve the American rights in JEKYLL: last winter I wrote and demanded, as an increase, a less sum than had already been agreed upon for a story that I gave to Cassell's. For once that my forgetfulness has, by a cursed fortune, seemed to gain, instead of lose, me money, it is painful indeed that I should produce so poor an impression on the mind of Mr. Scribner. But I beg you to believe, and if possible to make him believe, that I am in no degree or sense a FAISEUR, and that in matters of business my design, at least, is honest. Nor (bating bad memory and self-deception) am I untruthful in such affairs.

If Mr. Scribner shall have said nothing to you in the matter, please regard the above as unwritten, and believe me, yours very truly,

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

Letter: TO E. L. BURLINGAME

SARANAC, NOVEMBER 1887.

DEAR MR. BURLINGAME, - The revise seemed all right, so I did not trouble you with it; indeed, my demand for one was theatrical, to impress that obdurate dog, your reader. Herewith a third paper: it has been a cruel long time upon the road, but here it is, and not bad at last, I fondly hope. I was glad you liked the LANTERN BEARERS; I did, too. I thought it was a good paper, really contained some excellent sense, and was ingeniously put together. I have not often had more trouble than I have with these papers; thirty or forty pages of foul copy, twenty is the very least I have had. Well, you pay high; it is fit that I should have to work hard, it somewhat quiets my conscience. - Yours very truly,

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

Letter: TO J. A. SYMONDS

SARANAC LAKE, ADIRONDACK MOUNTAINS, NEW YORK, U.S.A., NOVEMBER 21, 1887.

MY DEAR SYMONDS, - I think we have both meant and wanted to write to you any time these months; but we have been much tossed about, among new faces and old, and new scenes and old, and scenes (like this of Saranac) which are neither one nor other.

The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 2 Page 27

Robert Louis Stevenson

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